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Since 1916, the Optical Society of America has been the world’s leading professional society for optics and photonics, uniting and educating scientists, engineers, educators, technicians and business leaders worldwide to foster and promote technical and professional development. Professor Walmsley took up the role of President on 1st January this year, having been elected to the role of Vice-President in 2016. Through this he made a four-year commitment to OSA's Board of Directors (one year as vice president, followed by one year as president-elect, president in 2018 and past-president in 2019).

On Professor Walmsley’s appointment as Vice-President, Elizabeth Rogan, CEO of The Optical Society, said: “Ian is a recognized leader in the field of optics. He understands the critical value that a professional society like OSA gives to both current and future generation of innovators.”

“The Optical Society has provided me with a professional home for more than two decades, from my earliest years as a graduate student to the present,” said Professor Walmsley. “I hope to contribute to OSA’s continuing impact on the field and profession through its role as the go-to place for optics for students, researchers, professional scientists and engineers, industrialists, entrepreneurs and policy-makers.”

Ian Walmsley is the Hooke Professor of Experimental Physics at the University of Oxford, where he is also Pro-Vice-Chancellor for Research and Innovation. He leads a research group in the areas of quantum and ultrafast optics, and is the Director of the Networked Quantum Information Technologies Hub of the UK National Quantum Technologies Programme. His research efforts have been directed toward quantum phenomena on ultrafast timescales, including the generation of nonclassical radiation and its application in quantum technologies, including sensing, communications and simulation, manipulation of matter using closed loop methods, and the development of methods for the measurement of ultrafast optical waveforms. He has supervised more than forty doctoral and master’s theses and has published more than 240 research articles and review papers, and been granted 5 patents.
Professor Walmsley has been an active OSA volunteer for more than two decades, serving as Director-at-Large, as Chair of the Publications Long-Term Planning Group and of the Member and Education Services Committee. He has been a member of the Public Policy Committee and International Council, as well as Chair of the Quantum Electronics Division and the Ultrafast Technical Group. He was a Topical Editor for JOSA B, and served on the Optics Express implementation committee in 1997. More recently he chaired the Committee that established Optica, OSA’s new flagship journal. He was on the Board of Reviewing Editors of Science and is currently on the Editorial Boards of the Journal of Modern Optics, the Journal of Physics B: Quantum and Semiclassical Optics. He has chaired national and international conferences in both the USA and in Europe, including several OSA topical meetings, QELS and the OSA Annual Meeting, as well as co-chairing the ILS-XV meeting.
Walmsley is a Fellow of the Royal Society, OSA, APS and the Institute of Physics (UK). He was awarded the Keithley Prize of the APS and the Young Medal of the Institute of Physics in 2011, the Innovationspreis of the Berthold Leibinger Stiftung in 2006, named an NSF Presidential Young Investigator in 1990, and is a former Scholar of Imperial College. He currently serves as International Councillor for the Institute of Molecular Spectroscopy, Japan, and as a member of the Advisory Board of the Max Planck Institut für Quantenoptik, Garching. He has been a member of the NRC Visiting Committee for JILA, the Beirat of the Max Born Institut, and the Triennial Committee of Visitors of the NSF Physics Division.